Original Research - Special Collection: Women Theologies

Reading a few exemplary books or texts in the Pentateuch and comparing how these books or texts portray the theme of violence and disempowerment

Doniwen Pietersen
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 2 | a6899 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i2.6899 | © 2021 Doniwen Pietersen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 June 2021 | Published: 16 September 2021

About the author(s)

Doniwen Pietersen, Department of Old and New Testament Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


This research article focuses on selected Old Testament (OT) texts that deal with the theme of violence and disempowerment. The selected texts are studied and viewed from a feminist interpretation perspective, and laid bare the violent and mistreatment of women in these texts. This research study builds on the work of Phyllis Trible (1978), and she uses the term ‘texts of terror’ to refer to passages where women suffer especially at the hands of men. She believes that passages, such as Deuteronomy 22:5, are regrettable and should be a cause of repentance in order to avoid them being repeated again. The way this article deals with the aforementioned exemplary books or texts in the OT is to explore a gendered feminist lens to understand the theme of disempowerment or violence against women. This approach, with the data, lays bare to the reader the nature of the problem of disempowerment and violence against women.

Contribution: This article brings a feminist understanding of the OT Bible (including its social-historical context) in order to gain a clearer insight into the problematic narratives of the disempowerment of and violence against women in a patriarchal society.


exemplary book or texts; women; disempowerment; violence; Old Testament


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Crossref Citations

1. Reading the “power of clothes” in the Deuteronomic Code
Doniwen Pietersen
Pharos Journal of Theology  year: 2021  
doi: 10.46222/pharosjot.102.039